The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a member of the United Nations and the African Union. It has ratified many UN Human Rights Conventions (compare list on the right) and thus has made binding international commitments to adhere to the standards laid down in these universal human rights documents.
Ethiopia is an Amharic-speaking country in the Horn of Africa. It is a landlocked country with an area of 1,104,300 square km – the 10th largest of the continent. On a global scale, its population density is medium. The capital of the country, which had never been a colony, is Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is a member of the regional economic communities IGAD and COMESA.
With a Human Development Index of 0.41 Ethiopia ranks twelfth lowest among 182 countries ranked in the UNDP Human Development Report of 2009. Life expectancy of the 80.7 million inhabitants at birth is 55 years, population growth is 2.6 percent per year. GNI is 280 US-$ per capita. External debt is 13.6 percent of gross national income. Primary school enrolment is 71.4 percent.
In as far as Ethiopia has ratified the Optional Protocols for UN Human Rights Conventions or has accepted the Competence of the corresponding UN Treaty Bodies (compare list on the right), the inhabitants of Ethiopia and their representatives are able to invoke their human rights through these bodies.
All inhabitants of Ethiopia may turn to the UN Human Rights Committee through procedure 1503, to the Special Rapporteurs for violations of specific human rights or to ECOSOC for women's rights violations.
Since Ethiopia is a member state of UNESCO, its citizens may use the UNESCO procedure for human rights violations in UNESCO's fields of mandate.
Employers' or workers' and certain other organizations (not individuals) of Ethiopia may file complaints through the ILO procedure in the cases of those conventions which Ethiopia has ratified.
Since Ethiopia is an AU member, its citizens and NGOs may file complaints to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
They may also file complaints according to the EU guidelines (on Human Rights Defenders, Death Penalty and Torture) to Embassies of EU Member States and the Delegations of the European Commission.
In cases of human rights violations by multinational enterprises, they may also invoke the National Contact Point in an OECD member state.
Ethiopia has not yet joined the International Criminal Court.